June 2022
Volume 63, Issue 7
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2022
Perceived Difficulties in Spatial Localization by People with Vision and Hearing impairment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • YINGZI XIONG
    Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
    Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Colman Farrington
    Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Diamond Brunt
    Envision Research Institute, Wichita, Kansas, United States
  • Nam Anh Nguyen
    Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
    Human Factors & Ergonomics, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Joe Nemargut
    School of Optometry, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Walter Wittich
    School of Optometry, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Gordon E Legge
    Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
    Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   YINGZI XIONG None; Colman Farrington None; Diamond Brunt None; Nam Anh Nguyen None; Joe Nemargut None; Walter Wittich None; Gordon Legge None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant 1K99EY030145-01A1; Envision Fellowship
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2022, Vol.63, 2457 – F0034. doi:
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      YINGZI XIONG, Colman Farrington, Diamond Brunt, Nam Anh Nguyen, Joe Nemargut, Walter Wittich, Gordon E Legge; Perceived Difficulties in Spatial Localization by People with Vision and Hearing impairment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):2457 – F0034.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Spatial localization refers to the ability to determine the location of people and objects in relation to oneself. In previous psychophysical studies we have investigated the effect of vision and/or hearing impairments on spatial localization behavior. However, it is not known how people with sensory impairment judge the difficulty of spatial localization in real-life situations. We developed a spatial localization survey to assess participants’ perceived difficulties in visual and auditory localization, as well as their sensory integration strategies in real-life scenarios.

Methods : The survey included 35 real-life scenarios with visual and auditory cues, e.g., “You are walking along a city sidewalk. A police vehicle is approaching with a siren sound and flashing lights. You need to determine which direction the police car is coming from”. For each scenario, participants reported their perceived difficulties in completing the task solely by vision and solely by hearing, using a scale from 1-5 (1 = very easy; 5 = very difficult), and which sense (vision or hearing) they would primarily rely on. Data were collected from three groups—vision impairment (VI, N = 24); dual sensory impairment (vision and hearing/DSI, N = 15); and healthy controls (N = 26). Their mean acuities were 0.75, 0.52 and 0.0 logMAR; and mean hearing levels were 6.2, 30 and 5.8 dB, respectively.

Results : The VI and DSI group reported significantly higher visual difficulty scores than the control group. However, the DSI group did not show higher hearing difficulty scores than the control or VI group. When asked which sense the participants primarily relied on, the control group was consistently “vision dependent”, while the VI and DSI groups had more participants who were “hearing dependent”. Participants were primarily “vision dependent” until their acuity reached 1.0 logMAR (20/200), after which they were more likely to be “hearing dependent”.

Conclusions : Vision impairment resulted in higher overall perceived difficulty in visual localization, while hearing impairment did not significantly affect the perceived difficulties in auditory localization. While healthy controls were primarily vision dependent, participants with VI or DSI adjusted their sensory dependence pattern in coping with vision impairment. Our survey provides a unified framework for assessing participants’ reported vision and hearing function in daily activities.

This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.

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